Engaging in a new technology is touch when you have to completely change operational and sometimes cultural procedures. Here, a new technology allows virtual reality to fit nicely into the stream of BIM and CAD design, making it accessible to everyone.

Virtual reality (VR) continues to become an evermore present technology in our lives. While the technology seems fairly recent to most, its beginning can be traced all the way back to the 1800s, when photography was becoming a practical application. It was in 1838 that the first stereoscope was invented, using twin mirrors to project a single image. That invention eventually became the View-Master that was patented in 1939 and is still being produced today.

VR really began to take shape in the 1950s and 1960s, thank to Morton Heilig, who is now often referred to as the “father of virtual reality.” Morton was a philosopher, filmmaker and inventor who applied his cinematography experience to design, and then went on to patent the Sensorama Stimulator in 1962. That machine used visual images, sounds, fans, scents and vibrations to give users the sensation of riding a motorcycle down the streets of Brooklyn. Albeit big and bulky, the Sensorama Stimulator was ahead of its time. Unfortunately, Morton was unable to obtain the financial backing necessary to develop his invention further.

The term “virtual reality” was finally coined in the mid-1980s, when Jaron Lanier, founder of VPL Research, began to develop the gear, including goggles and gloves, needed to experience what he called “virtual reality.”

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